Bedford Blues' second half fightback is all in vain as Cornish Pirates plunder the win
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Ultimately, it was the five minute spell just before the break that did for Mike Rayer's side as they not only lost a man to the sin bin, but also shipped 12 unanswered points, which it made too much of a mountain to climb after the restart.
“We were definitely better in the second half, but we left ourselves too much of a mountain to climb,” said Rayner.
“We seemed to lack that bit of edge in the first half. Missing Booj (Michael Le Bourgeois) was a huge loss for us. The boys should have picked the mantle up, but we were quite flat. Pirates didn’t have to do a lot to beat us, they were good value for the win.
“We have to roll our sleeves up and go again. We’ve got no excuses for the performance.”
A try with the last play of the game secured Nottingham’s first win since early December at Ampthill, edging a 12-try thriller 43-36.
Ampthill scored two tries in a 10 minute period to tie the match at 36-36 with 68 minutes gone. But just as the match appeared to be heading towards a draw, Jack Stapley scored the matchwinning try with the last play of the game, after an outstanding set of offloads from the Archers.
Ampthill head coach Paul Turner said: “It seems like Groundhog Day again.
“At half-time we thought we had got ourselves into a position to win the game, but we had a disastrous 15 minutes at the start of the second half.
“With the clock in the red at 36-36 all, all we needed to do is kick it off, and I think we all would go home happy. But we’re a young side with young leadership, and we decided we wanted to win the game.”
Bedford Athletic went down to a narrow 34-30 defeat at home to league leaders Colchester, fully meriting the two bonus points they took.